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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GAMP, v., n. Also gaump, gamph.

I. v. 1. intr. To gape widely (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; ‡1923 Watson W.-B.); of a dog: to prowl about with open mouth in search of food. Ppl.adj. gampin, “gaping, like an half-hanged dog” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 218).Sc. 1746 in Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 293:
Hell's black bitch mastiff lapt the broo, . . . And, maddening wi' perdition's porridge, Gamph'd to and fro for wholesome forage.

Hence gampy, adj., gaping, fig. over-large, having many bare, empty spaces.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Oors is sic a gampy kirk it's no easy ti heat or fill.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 14:
What a different shapes . . . Jethart Casle saw . . . Did the deed-raap soond throwe its gampy ends, A wunder, i the nicht efter guid King Alisaunder's waddeen-foy?

2. tr. To eat or drink greedily, to devour hurriedly; to gulp (sometimes with up or doon) (Rxb. 1825 Jam., ga(u)mp; ‡1923 Watson W.-B.).Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems (1811) 105:
A wally dish o' them weel champit, In time o' need How glibly up we'll see them gampit, “As clean's a bead!”
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Gamp it doon.

3. intr. To stutter (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 165).

II. n. 1. “The opening of the throat; also, the mouth: ‘Shut eer gamp!'” (‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

2. “The act of snatching like a dog” (Twd. 1825 Jam., gamph).

[Prob. echoic. Cf. also note to Gam.]

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"Gamp v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Apr 2024 <>



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